I’ve never been exactly clear on when one is supposed to take down a Christmas tree. There’s a fine line between keeping the festivity going as long as possible, and trying to sell the Christmas tree as a Valentine’s Day decoration.
Some of my friends take their trees down on December 26 exactly, but that’s way too early for me. Christmas isn’t over until one has finished buying all the other presents one wanted and did not receive. Besides, the holiday season doesn’t actually end until after New Year, and one shouldn’t have to take down the tree while there’s still an excuse to wear glitter eye shadow and drink Champagne every day.
My partner was of the opinion that the tree should come down on January 1. That made a lot of sense, but when the time came I just didn’t want to. It was still cold and snowy, we were still on break from work, and there was still Champagne in the refrigerator. When I pointed out that some of our neighbors still had trees in their windows, he acquiesced.
But now it’s January 15, and I think I’ve pushed the line a little too far. When I look at it now, I no longer think, "Yay! Christmas tree!" I think, "Oh my God, I seriously have to take down that Christmas tree." Wherever my personal “take down the tree” line is, it’s somewhere between January 1 and January 15.
Earlier this year I observed that some people in my area observe the 12 days of Christmas, ending on January 5, with the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6. The Feast of the Epiphany is a holiday in the part of Germany where I live, so work doesn’t really start again until January 7. That seems like an ideal midway point between, “I’m still celebrating” and “Really, it’s an Easter tree!”
I overshot the 7th by a week this year, but next year I’ll keep it in mind as a potential tree de-trimming day. When do you think a Christmas tree should come down?